A Positive Review from Don Garlington

Today, I got the 1st two 2011 issues of Bulletin for BIblical Research in the  mail (21.1, 21.2). There is a review of my monograph, Worship That Makes Sense to Paul, in the 21.2 issue, written by Don Garlington. I appreciate the positive review and that he seemed to really “get” what the book was all about. My supervisors would be proud 🙂 It is nice to feel a sense of appreciation from “the guild” for your hard work. Don – cheers to you!


Exciting Forthcoming Books from Zondervan

Having recently perused the latest catalog from Zondervan, I got excited about these future releases…

D. Bock, A Theology of Luke and Acts (sometime in 2012).

Miles van Pelt, Basics of Biblical Aramaic (maybe just released?) – we used Johns in Seminary, which worked fine, but I suspect van Pelt will really make it easy on the eyes and brain.

Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelism (eds. A.D. Naselli and C. Hansen): perspectives:

-K.T. Bauder: Fundamentalism

-Albert Mohler: Conservative evangelicalism

-John Stackhouse: Generic evangelicalism

-Roger E. Olson: Postconservative evangelicalism

Four Views on the Apostle Paul (ed. M.F. Bird [of course!])  -focusing on Christology, soteriology, and ecclesiology (what happened to ethics, I ask?)

-Schreiner – Evangelical view

Douglas Campbell – Barthian view (of course!)

Luke Timothy Johnson  – Catholic view

Mark D. Nanos – Jewish view

Y0u’ll have to wait until July 2012 for this puppy!


Mourning the Loss of a Humble Giant: C.K. Barrett.

I too want to say a word in honor of C.K. Barrett, who recently passed away at the age of 94.

In seminary, I connected the name C.K. Barrett to his Roman commentary (Black’s), a nice short interpretation and exposition, competent, careful, and sensitive to pastoral issues. I knew that my friend/mentor Ben Witherington studied at Durham with him. When I too was accepted to Durham (almost 20 years after Ben??!), I was excited about being in such an intellectual environment where this legendary scholar taught. To my great surprise, I came to learn that (1) he was still alive, (2) he was in Durham, and (3) he regularly preached in the Methodist circuit, often to congregations between 20-40 people in size (this was 2006).

These small village churches did not really know him as “C.K. Barrett, Lightfoot Professor Divinity,” but simply as “Kingsley.” Everyone who knew him, knew him simply as such. He was a sweet gentleman – exactly that — “gentle.” I heard him preach on two occasions and chatted with him only once, I think. A bit like Howard Marshall, Barrett was not one to talk and talk. But he was a very engaging preacher – even at 90!

Durham certainly carried on its great “Lightfoot” tradition when Barrett retired – first with James (“Jimmy”) Dunn, and then one of my supervisors – John M.G. Barclay. Both Jimmy and John have a deep admiration for Barrett.

I have felt a sense of privilege in getting a chance to meet and even have a brief conversation with such a great man. I will always have a deep respect for Barrett’s research, especially on Paul. In fact, in tribute, I plan on reading and interacting with some of his work in my Colossians commentary.

God be with his family and friends in this difficult time of loss.


WJK offering special promo for “teaching professionals”

One of the “big name” Biblical-Academic presses is Westminster John Knox – they do some really great stuff! Right now, they are doing a special promotion for “teaching professionals: 60% off and free shipping on orders more than $50. I will tell you, that is not a bad deal at all, rivaling the SBL promotions (perhaps even better?).

To get this deal, you must use a special promo code (which I have). If you did not get the email, but you are a “teaching professional,” I would be happy to share it with you. I don’t feel it right to simply publicize the promo code as I would guess it would get (ab)used by the wrong persons. But, if you fit this bill,  and did not already get the email, leave a comment and I would be happy to share it with you. Just leave a comment like: “Hook me up, I teach @….”


Sad News of Nida’s Passing

Many have already heard the sad news of the passing of Eugene Nida, the eminent linguist and Bible translator. I just wish to say that I have appreciated his Greek-English Lexicon of the NT: Based on Semantic Domains (with J.P. Louw). In fact, for my Colossians commentary I am working on, I have set “Louw-Nida” as my default (“go-to”) lexicon for semantic matters, rather than the expected “BDAG.” (I may explain my decision on another occasion.)

In any case, I hope my frequent reference L-N offers a nice tone of appreciation in light of this sad news. May the Lord comfort his family and close friends in this difficult time.

What is the Big Deal about the Land of Canaan?

As I am studying and teaching Joshua and Judges this year (which is a serious, but welcome, challenge for a NT researcher!), I have wondered, time and time again, why the promise and acquisition of land is so important to the Old Testament. What makes Joshua so central to the OT? Why is Deuteronomy so fixated on Israel’s land-grant from Yahweh?

There are, no doubt, many answers. Perhaps the most profound one, theologically speaking, has to do with the “incarnation” principle behind it. Note these scholarly ruminations:

Yhwh chose to create humanity in bodily form and thus relates to Israel in a way that involves land and is not merely a matter of the spiritual, moral or theological (Goldingay, OTT1, 512)

Israel’s faith insistently focused on the material, on the real, lived circumstance of life in the world. It is this focus that distinguishes Israel’s faith from many other religions that move in the direction of “spiritual” matters removed from lived reality (Bruce Birch et al., A Theological Introduction to the OT, 176)

Amen and amen.

Justification: Five Views (IVP)

Be on the lookout at SBL for the latest volume in the “Spectrum Multiview” Series from IVP: Justification: Five Views edited by Beilby, Eddy, and Enderlein. What are the “big five”?

Traditional Reformed (Michael H0rton)

Progressive Reformed (Mike Bird)

New Perspective (James Dunn)

Theosis/Deification (V-M Karkkainen)

Roman Catholic (Gerland O’Collins and Oliver Rafferty)

I love these books, produced so well, offering conversational tone (like hearing a lecture) and seeing scholars interact and engage. In the past some of the engagements have been brutal and cruel. I dearly hope to see an irenic spirit in this book. Certainly Dunn and Bird and known for this. This book is officially on my “wishlist”!